A story about the importance of " Wintering" has gone viral over recent weeks. It may or may not be true. Regardless, it holds an important message for us all. The story goes like this:
"I read that people did an experiment on redwood trees, where they injected the trees with a chemical similar to adrenaline to see how much more they would grow if they didn’t hibernate during winter.
These trees that live for hundreds of years died within a single year. Hibernation is a part of their growth and a part of nature in general.
The season designated to rest is just as necessary as the season designated to productivity and you can’t have one without the other. I would like to be more like the redwood trees, remember that I too am a part of nature, and that my own winter is valuable and innate."
For women the opportunity to winter comes each month, with their Menstrual Bleed or for women who aren't bleeding this can happen at New Moon, many of us however aren't aware of just how important it is to rest and slow things down and so we power through ignoring the whispers until our body screams.
As we enter the darkest time of year, the time when our ancient Celtic ancestors celebrated their New Year. For the celts new beginnings happened in darkness which is true for all new life, it is at this time of year that we plant spring bulbs, they take root in the darkness of the soil building strength and appear above ground in spring.
Our own journey begins in the darkness of the womb and yet many of us resist the darker times and long for brighter days. Perhaps the resistance more than the event itself that provides the challenge.
I am speaking to more and more people who are experiencing burnout, physically, emotionally and energetically, and for whom slow down and embracing a gentler pace is so important.
At this time of year we also hear about SAD (Seasonal Adjustment Disorder) Whilst acknowledging how difficult this can be, I also believe it's important that we don't label people or ourselves with conditions that are less about us as individuals and more about us as a society the list of symptoms mirror very closer hibernation and again it might helpful to embrace some of these rather than resisting the change.
We have a prehistoric body in a 21st Century world and if we wish to support our body we must do what we can to live in harmony with the cycles and rhythms within us and around us.
According to the NHS Website:
" SAD is often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days.
The main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly, which may affect the:
production of melatonin – melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy; in people with SAD, the body may produce it in higher than normal levels
production of serotonin – serotonin is a hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep; a lack of sunlight may lead to lower serotonin levels, which is linked to feelings of depression
body's internal clock (circadian rhythm) – your body uses sunlight to time various important functions, such as when you wake up, so lower light levels during the winter may disrupt your body clock and lead to symptoms of SAD "
Here are some suggestions that might be helpful as we navigate the season ahead.
I highly recommend using a light alarm clock I have had one for about 12years and it is a god send during the darker mornings.
Exposure to as much natural day light as possible (even if its not sunny)
Infra Red Light - I like to use an Infra Red Sauna over the winter months. You can also get it from fire light and what a precious gift a fire is on so many levels.
Epsom Salt Baths
Bare Foot grounding early in the morning.
Delicious nourishing seasonal food.
Essential Oils - I am loving my new diffuser.
I have recently started using glasses with a tinted lense, I put them on when I put on artificial lights, there are different types of glasses and light bulbs also. The Company I got mine from are called Bon Charge https://uk.boncharge.com/
Embrace some Hygge, https://www.everydayhealth.com/wellness/what-is-hygge-and-why-is-it-good-for-your-wellbeing/ "The concept of hygge is about creating a cozy, comforting physical environment: lighting candles, snuggling up with soft blankets, and consuming warm, soothing drinks. But it’s also (and perhaps more importantly) a mindset and a philosophy, Wiking explains.
“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things,” Wiking says. Hygge is also about creating a comforting social and emotional environment for yourself; it’s about who you choose to surround yourself with and what you choose to spend your time doing.
“It is about being with the people we love; a feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and are allowing ourselves to let our guard down,”
Whether you draw inspiration from the Danish, the ancient Celts or simply listen to your body and honour your need to rest and recharge, I hope you have found some inspiration here.
There is nothing I love more than sharing Treatments on dark autumn and winter nights.
I look forward to treating you soon.
Solas agus Gra (Love & Light)